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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Mac OS X 10.5.5 and Mail.app’s speed

September 16, 2008

On Sunday I asked on Twitter; “Anyone else use Gmail IMAP in Mail.app with over 25,000 items? Does Mail.app seem to crawl for you too?”.

The responses were a mixed bag. Some told me to ditch Mail.app, some said that they’d rather use POP3 instead of IMAP, and others with far less email messages than I have sympathized with my situation.

Today while starting up the Macbook and sipping my coffee, I noticed Apple released Mac OS X 10.5.5 as a free software update.  In the change notes I took notice of this particular line.

“Addresses performance issues related to displaying IMAP messages.”

To be honest, I don’t know what this actually means. It could mean that it speeds up Mail.app’s ability to display IMAP messages with in-line attachments.  But it doesn’t say that.  It could mean that it speeds up Mail.app’s message list, which is what I want it to say, but it doesn’t say that either.

After updating to 10.5.5 this morning I gave Mail.app a whirl.  After several “restarts” of Mail.app it seems to be a little slower than it was before at displaying the message list.  It takes 33-seconds to load the list on an IMAP-powered Mailbox with 11,899 messages.

So while the above update is, I’m sure, an update to Mail.app with regards to IMAP performance. I’m not seeing it yet.  It looks like I’ll either switch to a web-based client for my Gmail-for-domains powered email (especially now that Gears runs in Safari) or somehow keep 1,000 messages in my Inbox at a time.

Suggestions?